Fort Campbell Soldier Says U.S. Presence In Iraq Making A Difference

A large crow turned out for a special Veteran’s Day recognition program at the courthouse Saturday morning.
The special guest speaker for the occasion was Colonel Thomas Lippart of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Lippart, who has served three tours of duty in Iraq, said the strength of this nation is not in it’s weapons, but in it’s people. ” This nation is build on it’s people. It’s not the technology. The United States has always been known for it’s great technology but that’s not what makes our military great. There’s lots of other countries out there that have a lot of technology. It’s the people who make us such a powerful nation to deal with.”
Colonel Lippart says while many still question whether the United States military should be in Iraq, most still support the troops. “I still believe firmly in my heart that the American people by and large support it’s military and are in fact there for us and stand behind us. I returned from Iraq on September 2nd and I’ve had more people come up to me and say thank you for your service and for what you have done.”
While most of the news coming out of Iraq seems to be bade, Colonel Lippart says there are a lot of good things happening there too. “When we first got to Iraq, obviously we had not established a relationship with the local vendor base and were still coming back to the states for most of the supplies we were buying. But the longer we are there, the more we are growing the local economy back. We’re starting to do more and more business with the local economy. In fiscal year 2006, our contracting command did about 27,000 contracts and just about half of those were with Iraqi vendors but that’s increasing every day. It increased by about 25% when I first got there to nearly 50% when I left, so we’re doing more and more business with the economy, with the local businessmen to try to build their economy.”
Colonel Lippart gave some examples of how the Iraqi people have benefitted from the overthrow of Saddam Heussein. ” In many occasions, some of these Iraqi people, because I was a point of contact, held me responsible for some of the wonderful things that have been happening to them, They were so gracious and so thankful for us being in Iraq and helping them with the good things. I heard stories of how none of the power generation plants and none of the sewage treatment plants had any kind of repairs, modifications, or updates since they were built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The entire country was in disrepair. There’s a small suburb of Baghdad where only as recent as about eight months ago, did we finally get the power generators fixed so that we could get the pumps running to pump the sewage out of the city. There was six inches of sewage running through about a one mile square city area. Imagine your children having to walk through that on their way to school. Because of our engineers, technology and our assistance to show them how to do it, they now have the power generators working again and the pumps are working and they’re able to get the sewage out. That’s just one small example.
Colonel Lippart says in addition to a stronger economy, educational opportunities are improving in Iraq. “We’ve had an opportunity to put new roofs on the schools. The textbooks the students were using were from the 1960’s. They never bought new textbooks. These people are so much better off. Young girls are now allowed into the schools again. For a number of years, there were no young girls going to school whatsoever. So while I know that it’s a matter of opinion whether you believe we should be there or not, I just wanted to share with you today that we’re doing a tremendous amount of good in Iraq and while it’s frustrating to see all the bad stuff on TV, we must show them what right looks like. There’s an entire generation there that doesn’t know what it looks like. They don’t know what organization looks like. There were no city councils before. There are now because we’ve stood them up in all the little towns. They now have organization on how to provide services for their people.”
Colonel Lippart is a 1989 graduate of Penn State University and later received his Masters degree in Business Administration at the University of Texas. He is a Distinguished Military graduate, having been commissioned into the U.S. Army where he joined the Aviation branch. During 2001-2002, he attended the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He has been the Chief of Contingency Contracting at the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. During his service in Iraq, Lippart served as Chief of Plans and Programs Contracting Headquarters for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Colonel Lippart has received numerous medals including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorius Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Medal, Meritorius Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrrorism Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal, among others.

School Board Considers Replacing Cell Phones With Two Way Radios On Buses

The DeKalb County Board of Education is considering the possibility of replacing cell phones on school buses with two way radios.
Technology Director Brad Mullinax and Transportation Supervisor Shane Cook say two way radios would be more reliable and cost effective than cell phones. Cook says around 70% of Tennessee county school systems are already using two way radios and 20% of them are looking into it.
Mullinax presented the proposal to the Board of Education Thursday night. ” Mr. Willoughby asked me toward the beginning of the school year to start to work on this, and to try and get some information regarding installation of a VHF repeater system for the transportation department. The reason for the system is to greatly improve the communications between the schools, the Transportation Director, and the school buses. We probably have about 70% of the county that may be covered by cell phones or maybe not. We have a lot of trouble with communications, getting in touch with school buses, and that type thing
We asked Wireless Solutions of Cookeville to work us up a proposal on a system. We now have a proposal from them but there’s two or three steps we need to get approved in order to press forward with this. The first being a site. We have a site on Miller Road, the Genesco water tank, but we don’t have formal approval from the City of Smithville. I think they will allow us to base our repeater there at no charge. Once that is done, Wireless Solutions has agreed to prepare the forms for us to obtain an FCC license. This is the next step involved. We will have to submit an application to the Federal Communications Commission to obtain a license for that particular site. This will take from sixty to ninety days. Once the license is obtained, then you can press forward, purchase the repeater, get the repeater on the site, and then over a period of time, you can progressively buy so many radios per year to go on your school buses. This is not something you would have to do all at one time.
Over the long haul I think this is going to save the county several dollars. You’re not going to have recurring telephone charges on your cell phones anymore. With a two way radio system, when you purchase it, you own it. I think it would be a fantastic move. I think it would improve your safety. What we have also agreed to do as far as 911 is concerned is have this frequency that we obtain programmed into our radios at the 911 center and in the event there is an emergency situation, we could pick up on that over the air and go ahead and dispatch units accordingly. We could also put a base station at each school so that in the event somebody needed to get in touch with somebody on another school bus, they could radio the school or radio the transportation department so that contact could be made through those means. You can also have simplex frequencies programmed into those radios and they could talk from bus to bus if they are in close proximity. On those, if you’re within 10 to 15 miles of a school bus, you don’t necessarily have to go through a repeater system, you can go through a talk around channel. You’re not going to have perfect coverage, there will be dead areas, but I think the dead areas will greatly be minimized by going with a two way radio system rather than cell phones.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says a new two way radio system could be phased in over a period of time. ” In our Transportation budget, we’re going to have some money left over with some decisions we’ve made in transportation that Shane has implemented, so we’ll have some savings. If we don’t have enough savings to do everything in one year, we can do it over a two or three year period, if we need to.”
The board took no action on the issue.

WJLE Regrets Failure Of Audio Streaming Service During Election Coverage

WJLE would like to express it’s regret for the failure of our Internet streaming service during the LIVE radio broadcast of the election returns Tuesday night.
A brief power failure earlier in the day at the radio station caused a disruption in the service and we experienced further problems re-establishing our audio streaming capability over the Internet after the power was restored.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

Smithville Police Make Another Drug Arrest

Smithville Police have made another drug arrest.
Police Chief Thomas J. Stufano, in a press release, states that Bradley Ferrell of 708 South Mountain Street, Smithville was arrested at approximately 3:20 p.m. Wednesday for sale and delivery of illegal narcotics.
Stufano says “In a continuing crackdown on illegal drugs in the city, officers working surveillance of a known drug area, witnessed Ferrell making a transaction and then quickly hiding the remaining contraband inside his pants.”
Upon his arrest, a bottle of illegal pills was discovered in his waistband. Ferrell was booked into the DeKalb County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

Jason Lee Lippart

24 year old Jason Lee Lippart of Smithville died Monday in Missouri. He is survived by his mother Betty Murphy Lippart of Smithville, and his father Ramond Lippart II. One brother Raymond Lippart III of Smithville. Two sisters Tina Lippart of Smithville, and Nikki of Michigan. Nieces and Nephews Travis and Jeremy Parrish of Smithville, Audrey and Davis Dickerson of Michigan. One aunt Rachel Caldwell of Smithville. The funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Love-Cantrell Funeral Home in memory of Jason to help with funeral expenses.

Walk Across Tennessee Contest to Kick-Off March 24

Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health, yet nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting the activity they need. Consider taking up walking with friends or your family by participating in Walk Across Tennessee, which is an eight-week program that will spark some friendly competitions in DeKalb County. Teams of eight will compete to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging or even biking in their community. The miles walked are not literally across the state, but on a map posted at the UT Extension Office and Greenbrook Park. Since everyone participates in a variety of sports, the Walk Across Tennessee program also has an exercise conversion chart so that participants can count aerobics, swimming, weight lifting, etc. For example, 16 minutes of high intensity aerobics would equal one mile.
The Walk Across Tennessee kickoff for DeKalb County is Saturday, March 24 at Greenbrook Park. “Teams will keep track of their miles, which will be posted in the Extension office and other places around the community. Teams can be composed of coworkers, teachers, students, neighbors, etc. This is an excellent team competition for the workplace and schools” said April Martin, DeKalb County Extension Agent.
Many people are unaware of the positive benefits of exercise. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 problem in the United States. The risk of heart disease could be significantly reduced by regular exercise. According to the Center for Disease Control, the positive effects of physical activity are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease. Not only does regular exercise help relieve stress and anxiety,”physically active people outlive inactive people. Participating in Walk Across Tennessee DeKalb County is not only a great way to get involved with our community, it’s a healthy habit,” Martin stated.
To participate in Walk Across Tennessee, first get a team together. Biking and jogging teams are limited to four people. Choose a team captain and name your team. Team captains need to pick up a captain’s packet, available at the DeKalb County Extension Office, 115 West Market St. Smithville, located right beside Fuston’s Antiques. Each team member will need to complete a registration form which is included in the team captain’s packet or at the Walk Across Tennessee website. Individual as well as team forms should be returned to the Extension office.
Awards and prizes will be given to the individual who walk the most miles as well as the team who walks the most miles.
“Competition kicks off at 9:30 A.M. at Greenbrook Park under pavilion one,” Martin said. “Come out and plan to have lots of fun.” For more information, call the Extension office at 597-4945 or visit http://eteamz.active.com/WalkAcrossTennesseeDeKalbCounty/

County Firefighters Snuff Out New Year’s Day Chimney Fire

DeKalb County Volunteer Firefighters were summoned to the home of Royce and Alicia Curtis at 1472 Lower Helton Road on New Year’s Day.
Chief Donny Green says the Curtis’ called for help after noticing smoke from the fireplace coming back down the chimney into the house. The area around the chimney was also very hot.
By the time firefighters arrived, the house had filled with smoke and fire could be seen around the chimney where it emerges from the roof.
Green says firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and all the fire damage was confined to the immediate area around the chimney. However, he says the entire home received significant smoke damage.
No one was injured.
Members of the Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Short Mountain Highway Stations responded along with a tanker truck.
DeKalb EMS and officers of the Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.

Sheriff’s Department Makes Two Drug Arrests On New Year’s Eve

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department arrested two people on drug charges on New Year’s Eve following an undercover investigation.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says county officers went to the home of 52 year old Eddie Lattimore at 3785 Pea Ridge Road to execute a search warrant following an extensive investigation of Lattimore and surveillance of his home on suspicion of drug dealing.
Both Lattimore and 35 year old Tonya Silcox of West Main Street, Liberty were arrested at the scene. Officers found some dilaudid, oxycontin, syringes, and seized more than $7,400 in cash
Lattimore, described by Sheriff Ray as a well known drug dealer in the Pea Ridge community, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (syringes), sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid), sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (oxycontin), and unlawful possession of a weapon. Authorities found a 9 millimeter pistol in an outbuilding on Lattimore’s property.
Sheriff Ray says Lattimore, already a convicted felon, is currently on parole on similar drug convictions.
Silcox is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid) and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is currently on probation on similar drug convictions.
Sheriff Ray says officers found an uncapped bloody needle with drug residue in Silcox’s pants along with some dilaudid.
Lattimore’s bond is set at $525,000 and Silcox is under a $28,500 bond.
Both will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on January 11th.
Sheriff Ray says he plans to notify the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Department of Alcohol- Tobacco and Firearms, and the Tennessee Department of Parole about the arrest of Lattimore. Silcox will also likely be charged with violation of probation.

Jennings Named Assistant DCHS Lady Tiger Coach

If you attended Wednesday night’s Lady Tiger basketball game in the Christmas Tournament at Red Boiling Springs, you may have noticed a new coach courtside.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says Randy Jennings has been named an assistant to head coach Amy Tobitt for the remainder of this basketball season, upon the recommendation of DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix.
Willoughby says Jennings was approached by Hendrix to take the assistant coaching position after Coach Tobitt requested some help with the program.
Jennings is a former DeKalb West School basketball player and coach, and a DCHS basketball standout. He played baseball in college and is a former basketball coach at Watertown High School. He is currently Principal of DeKalb Middle School and is former Principal at Smithville Elementary School.
Willoughby says Jennings’ new assignment will in no way interfere with his responsibilities as Principal of DeKalb Middle School.